Sports Editor

Harmony’s girls and Celebration’s boys, the county’s dominant soccer squads, are doing dominant things already early in the season.

Harmony, who’s won back-to-back district championships and three straight Orange Belt Conference championships — the Longhorns (2-0-10) didn’t surrender a goal at all to county or District 5A-9 opponents last year — tied with 5A regional finalist Vero Beach, 1-1, to open the season, then scored a 1-0 win Tuesday over another stout coastal opponent, Melbourne Central Catholic. Reinna Scott scored off of a Lindsay Larisa assist in the first half, and goalie Angie Santos made six saves.

Those games were sandwiched around an 8-0 victory over OBC foe Poinciana prior to Thanksgiving.

“Things are shaping up well so far,” HHS Coach Scott Marlega said. “We finally have a full roster and everybody healthy so we are excited to start training as a full unit. Scoring first on Vero was huge for us but I think we got so excited that we forgot to play soccer in the second half. A lot of nervous energy and not a lot of good soccer after the break. They got one in the last 10 minutes and it was a struggle to hold on to the draw after that.

“MCC was not pretty but it was our first away game on a huge turf field in cold weather. They’re excuses but they allowed us to struggle a bit.”

Harmony plays home games next week against Liberty (Monday, 6 p.m.), Osceola (Wednesday, 7) and Haines City (Friday, 7), the latter two against 5A-9 opponents.

The Storm, who advanced to the Class 5A state semifinal last year, have started the season 4-1-1, including wins over Seminole (5-4) and Lake Mary (3-1) before Thanksgiving that they trailed at the half, including a 3-0 deficit against Seminole.

The Storm also trailed nationally-ranked Montverde Academy (7-0-1) on Wednesday, 2-1, but found an equalizing second-half goal to give Montverde its first “not a win” result that washed away a 4-0 loss to Olympia Monday.

“It’s been a wild ride so far,” CHS Coach Chad Boudreaux said. “Monday was a tough one to swallow though, we played really well but we could not put away our chances.  They took their chances and finished them. Even with being down a man and being down 4-0 for most of the second half, we kept fighting and still were getting chances. We have some things to clean up, but we have a great foundation of teamwork and a never-quit attitude that can keep us moving forward.

“It was a great game (Wednesday). Montverde has a great program and for us to be down twice to them and still be able to come back to tie it up is a great feeling.  The staff suggested we make some changes and I made them including the one that lead to the player scoring the game tying goal.  Everyone that saw the field last night went home exhausted.

Seniors Luis Mora (six goals) and Fernando Abreu (eight assists) have paced the offense, and junior Horacio Parisi has step in — and up — in goal.

The Storm host Vero Beach (a playoff opponent last year) and 5A-9 foe Tohopekaliga on Tuesday and Thursday.